Call for applications

The application period for 2023-2024 is November 14th – December 15th 2022 for the programme starting on August 2023. 

Please read the Call for applications carefully before filling in the application form (the application form, on the web page, will be activated on November 14th, 2022 at 8.00 am). Submit your application by 15.00 (CMT +2) on December 15, 2022).

The International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology and Public Health (IPPE), Health Sciences Unit, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Finland, is a doctoral training program for highly qualified epidemiologists, researchers and public health personnel worldwide who are aiming at a PhD degree in epidemiology or related public health sciences.

The Health Sciences Unit is one of the leading research institutions with international recognition at Tampere University. Degree programmes include bachelor, master and doctoral levels, and have a strong emphasis on training in research methods.  IPPE programme faculty are involved in several international collaborative research projects. Teaching and research are multidisciplinary and include the fields of biostatistics, epidemiology, gerontology, global health, health care management, health economics, health services research, health sociology, nursing science, occupational health, public health, social and health policy, and social psychiatry.

Programme goals

 The main objectives of the IPPE Programme are to increase knowledge and understanding of major public health problems, particularly in low-and middle-income countries, and to build sustainable public health capacity in these countries by working with global partners in the field. IPPE trains epidemiologists and public health personnel for leadership positions in research, administration, program planning and policy development.

Programme content

The IPPE Programme consists of intensive theoretical and practical training in epidemiology and biostatistics, courses in other public health sciences, research seminars and individual supervision. Although the core epidemiology and biostatistics curriculum content are required, the students are given considerable latitude in selecting optional courses and the programme may be tailored to meet individual learning and professional goals. Please see previous course descriptions.

The selected PhD candidates will spend the academic year from August 2023 to May 2024 in Tampere, Finland to complete the required coursework and to prepare a comprehensive research plan for their PhD thesis. The bulk of field research, data analysis and reporting, however, is generally conducted after completion of coursework either in Finland or abroad during three to four additional years. The doctoral dissertation consists of three to four original scientific papers published in international, peer-reviewed journals and a thesis synthesizing the research findings. After successful public examination and defense of the dissertation, a doctoral degree (PhD) in epidemiology or related public health discipline is awarded.

Major fields of study and research

Methods in epidemiology and biostatistics
Infectious disease epidemiology
Vaccine programs in public health practice
Epidemiology and prevention of cancer
Non-communicable diseases, nutritional epidemiology
Research on health promotion of children and adolescents
Epidemiology of ageing
Health and Social Policy

Selection criteria

Doctoral students are selected based on their merits in past education and work experience in the field of public health and epidemiology, their language skills and scientific writing ability. Strong applicants already work in a research project which can be used as material for PhD thesis, or have an available dataset and a feasible research plan.

Applicants should submit a preliminary research plan as part of their application. Research plans are evaluated for:

  • Public health relevance/significance of the topic
  • Background and rationale for the study
  • Appropriateness of methods (in relation to study objectives)
  • Feasibility of implementation (study materials and subjects, methods, timeline, available infrastructure, collaborators)
  • Overall quality and clarity of the research plan (appropriate theoretical background, concepts, structure, style)


A PhD degree requires 240 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credit points. The IPPE coursework accounts for 60 ECTS and the dissertation for 180 ECTS.


A master’s degree (at least 4 years of study) in a relevant health related field, including e.g.  epidemiology, public health or biostatistics, or a medical degree from an accredited university. Basic knowledge of epidemiology and proof of proficiency in English are required. More details: Language requirements.

Duration of studies

 The duration of the coursework curriculum is one academic year (August 2023 to May 2024). Full time participation in the program requires a 10-month residency in Tampere, Finland. Obtaining the doctoral degree usually requires 3-4 additional years after completion of the coursework. 

Tuition, accommodation, living and travel cost

Currently, Tampere University charges no tuition or course fees for doctoral students accepted in the IPPE Programme.

Students should be able to cover their travel, accommodation and living costs in Finland. The Finnish immigration service requires that doctoral students must have at least EUR 1 000 at their disposal per month to pay for accommodation, food and other expenses. In other words, EUR 10 000 is required to study in Finland for one academic year.

The IPPE -programme does not provide personal or project funding. Prospective students should apply external funding before joining the programme. For selected students there are a research grant opportunities from external funding sources. These are highly competitive.  Acceptance to the IPPE -programme does not guarantee financial aid.


Application period for the Academic year 2023 – 2024 is from November 14th – December 15th, 2022.

Applicants who qualify for the second stage of the selection process will be invited to video interviews which are held from February 7 to 21, 2023.

Application information and form

Please submit all your application documents through the online application system (the application form, on the right side of the web page, will be activated on November 14th, 2022 at 8.00 am). Submit your application by 15.00 (CMT +2) on December 15, 2022, with ALL of the following attachments.

  1. Curriculum vitae (max. 5 pages)
    1. Please use the Europass format in English
    2. the list of publications should be organized as follows: international peer-reviewed publications, other publications
    3. include a list of completed epidemiology courses (level, number of credits)
  2. Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
    The motivation letter describes your personal goals for PhD studies. It should address the following:
    1. Why do you want to pursue doctoral studies in the IPPE Programme?
    2. How will PhD studies complement your previous education and professional experience?
    3. What new skills and opportunities are you looking for in the IPPE Programme?
    4. How do you plan to use the experience gained in IPPE training after completing the PhD degree? What are your future career goals?
  3. Research plan (Please see detailed guidelines, max. 6 pages excluding summary and including references)
  4. Description of funding and support for studies

Please describe how you plan to

      1. pay for your living costs in Finland from August 2023 to May 2024
        (The Finnish immigration service income requirement is
        1 000€/ month for doctoral researchers to admit a residence permit to Finland), and
      2. fund your research project (e.g. data collection, your salary/income during the thesis work).

Please include documentation of grant awards for the planned PhD project if appropriate.

    5. Officially certified educational documents (university level degree certificate(s) and official transcript(s) of records)

In addition to uploading electronic copies of your educational documents to your application, you must submit officially authenticated copies of your educational documents of your educational documents, if you have not completed your previous degrees in a Finnish university. If the documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, both the authenticated copies of the documents in their original language and an officially confirmed, complete and precise translation into one of the languages mentioned above are required.

In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents issued in certain countries have more specific requirements for submission. Please go through the requirements carefully and check the country- specific requirements your degree awarding country before applying. Please send your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office.

Please make sure that the officially certified copies of your educational documents arrive at Tampere University by 4 January 2023!!

  6. Certificate of proficiency in English

For this requirement, no exceptions will be granted. There are two ways of indicating your English language proficiency;

  1. Previous studies
    Completed higher education degree taught in English in a university in Finland or another EU/ EEA country, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. Note! Even if you have a Master’s degree in English from another country than listed above, you will have to provide a language test. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions that your studies fulfil the requirements. country-specific requirements.
  2. Language tests

    1. TOEFL iBT / TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
    Minimum test result: 92 overall with no section below 20

    2. TOEFL PBT
    Minimum test result: 580

    3. IELTS (Academic) / IELTS Indicator
    Minimum test result: 6.5 overall with no section below 5.5

    4. PTE (Academic)
    Minimum test result: 62 overall with no section below 42

    5. Cambridge C1 Advanced*
    Minimum test result: C

    6. Cambridge C2 Proficiency*
    Minimum test result: C1

    7. National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English)
    Minimum test result: Proficiency level 5

    *The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency

    Tampere University will verify all language test results online.Please note that the language test score must be valid throughout the application period and cannot be more than 2 years old.

  1. Copy of your passport

    In addition, on the online application form you will be asked to provide names, titles, affiliations and e-mail addresses (use organizational email addresses) of up to three (3) persons who will provide a letter of recommendation.

Applications must adhere the above guidelines.
Additional documents are not considered.
Letters of recommendation only on request by the IPPE programme.

Contact information

Coordinator Ms. Tiina Kangasluoma
Programme e-mail

Visit IPPE on the web

Programme Director Pekka Nuorti MD, PhD, Professor of epidemiology